It’s time again for a trip through the time machine to unearth another 1970’s long lost gem. This time, my “That 70’s Guy” Retro Review comes courtesy of Canada’s own Teaze and their 1976 debut album. Yes, 1976 again; what a year it was. I guess it was only fitting that the awesome 1993 tribute movie “Dazed and Confused” took place in 1976, and, believe me, that movie was spot on.
Teaze hailed from the southern Ontario border town of Windsor and consisted of Brian Danter on bass guitar and vocals, Mark Bradac and Chuck Price on guitars with Mike Kozak rounding them out on drums. Being on the border with Detroit, they got their early sound from the likes of Brownsville Station, MC5, Bob Seger and Grand Funk. This was totally different to what other Canadian bands were doing at the time. Eventually, they brought in a heavier and rawer sound.
The funny thing with Teaze is they seemed to come out of nowhere. Even without the social media avenues back then, the scuttlebutt grapevine in the rock world was still highly communicated. You knew who was hot, who was up and coming, who was rocking the shit out of high schools and bars and you always knew who was ready to release an album. The word was out. But not with Teaze. Despite being from a town three hours away, it was totally by surprise that I came across that incredible cover. As I did most days, I roamed the local record stores and made a lot of judgement calls to purchase based on album cover alone. Well how could you not love four guys with long hair in glam clothes holding on to the lightning bolt “Z” in the word Teaze, with flames in the background! Wow, they spelt tease with a Z! What a novel and cool idea (keep in mind it was 1976 and I was 16).
For most of us rock nuts growing up in the 70’s, the guitar was god. Guitar solos and guitar heroes defined the time. After all, Jimi Hendrix had recently passed and so many were trying to clone him. Frank Marino, Uli Jon Roth, Ernie Isley and Robin Trower were just a few. The music was just oozing six string magic. The guitar solo was the magical highlight of every concert for me. I searched out as many albums I could find that were guitar driven. That now puts me right at the cash register, ready to purchase this clean and raw, seriously guitar driven and extremely heavy album. For 1976 standards, it really is a front runner to early metal – dual guitars pounding, screaming vocals with a heavy backbone beat of bass and drums. What more could I ask for?
They were discovered by Mel Shaw (of The Stampeders fame) and recorded the first album in Toronto at The Grange. What they thought was to be a bunch of demos eventually turned out to be the first Teaze album.
Let’s give it a spin!
Teaze – Teaze : Released 1976 on Force One Records
- “Rockin with the Music” – what a fantastic opening riff to start an album. If this song doesn’t get the juices flowing, nothing will. This one really sets the tone to get the party started. It comes fully equipped with all ingredients – twin leads, pounding snares, heavy bass, all tied neatly together with Brian’s vocals!
- “Flames Keep Growing” – throw in some cowbell to start this gem and you’ve got an album highlight. A guitar lover’s dream, with Price and Bradac laying down layer upon layer of solos. The rhythm riffs are extremely heavy, with Kozak continually smashing the skins.
- “Come On, Hold On” – another classic Teaze opening riff starts this third song, but the highlight here is the killer chorus and background harmonies. Hard not to scream along with this one. A wonderful solo with some amazing shredding to ride this one into the sunset. Very, very similar to what Mark Reale and RIOT did a couple years later.
- “Believe in Rock and Roll” – another tribute to why we are all here – Rock n’ Roll! But wait, is that Paul Stanley singing? Danter and the boys really nail this KISS sounding rocker to finish side 1.
- “Boys Night Out” – a Teaze staple that got some minor radio airplay courtesy the 45 version. This crowd favourite was blasted through tape decks and car speakers everywhere. By the way, what was it with the “Boys” in 1976? “Boys in Action” by Starz and “The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy and now I am sure glad I was one of the “Boys” back then – the party never ended!
- “Hot To Trot” – ok time to get the girls involved – or at least that’s the way we thought of it back then. Pull up next to carload of girls at red light and crank this baby! Lol. Great clean ripping guitars with yet another great solo and chorus.
- “Dirty Sweet Loving” – now for my album choice cut. I always loved the intro sequence layers from the heavy drum to the first lead and then the entrance the absolutely crashing dual rhythm. Very, very catchy. Can you say heavy – Judas Priest – are you listening? There’s a little ‘ole Canadian band here laying down dual guitars as well! The solo is great and with Brian singing in his raw natural form make this a play over and over tune.
- “Open My Eyes” – long before the Strypers of the world came along, Teaze came up with this magical anthem. Brian’s voice is goosebump worthy. Along with the melodic guitar lead it really is a blessed song. The beautiful soft intro makes segway for some absolute killer crashing guitars for what becomes a top notch heavy rock song. Then a return to the fabulous melodic guitar and vocals make the ending rock magic. Six minutes of pure bliss.
There you have it, a slab of early Canadian “metal”. Along with some other local Canadian bands at the time like (early) Rush, Lynx, Triumph and Moxy, the in-your-face guitar was putting its stamp on local river parties, car steroes, bars and high school parking lots everywhere as well as further carving out a niche in my rock and roll brain that would last a lifetime. If you love heavy sounding guitars, guitars and guitars this one is for you!
I was lucky enough to see them once when they came to my hometown in 1978 opening up for Triumph. They were promoting their second album On the Loose which saw them tone things down a bit and become more radio friendly which in turn gave them some moderate success with hits like “Sweet Misery” and “Heartless World”.
Teaze released three more albums after that, before calling it a day in the early 80’s. Ironically, it was then that the NWOBHM and “guitar rock” really took off. Maybe if they were a few years later, they would’ve been bigger or maybe they just were sacrificial lambs that paved the way for the next generation of bands to come.
“Well it’s the boy’s night out
We’re raising more hell than an earthquake
In the streets when night time comes
I’ll sneak back down the stairway
The time is now and the place is here.”
The only live footage of Teaze I could find is this Japanese special consisting of a few songs from the first album. Check it out!